Look out Netflix, LoveFilm, Apple and co. because there's a new and particularly well-groomed kid on the block, wearing a bow tie and probably puffing nonchalantly on a pipe. The cineastes over at the British Film Institute have announced plans to launch an online streaming service, the BFI Player, enabling movie lovers to access its extensive archive of films, interviews, Q&As and red carpet events from the comfort of their own homes.
Kicking off the platform on October 18 is the London Film Festival's Archive Gala feature, the newly-restored documentary of 1924's Everest expedition, Epic Of Everest. It'll be followed by Clio Barnard's BFI co-funded coming-of-age drama The Selfish Giant, a day-and-date release with its UK-wide opening on October 25 that will cost viewers £10 for 30 days' access.
"Today is a real milestone for the BFI," said chairman Greg Dyke at the BFI Player's launch. "We're about to make the boldest move we've made since the National Film Theatre opened 60 years ago."
The plan is to make 10,000 films from the BFI archive available in a digital format and to offer the viewing public a say in the films chosen.